The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) on either side of your jaw is essential to your jaw motion. These joints let your jaw open in a hinge-like sliding motion, necessary for speaking, eating, drinking, and more.
TMJ issues aren’t uncommon, and can occur due to a variety of causes, including jaw injuries and genetic factors. The symptoms of a temporomandibular disorder or TMD can be complex, ranging from persistent headaches to pain in the muscles that control your jaw joints.
At Performance Pain and Sports Medicine, interventional pain management specialists Dr. Suzanne Manzi and Dr. Matthias Wiederholz fully understand the problems that can occur in this essential joint.
With locations in Lawrenceville and Raritan, New Jersey, and Houston, Texas, we can diagnose your TMJ issues and recommend treatment options to protect your jaw joints and relieve your symptoms for the long term.
Signs and symptoms of TMJ issues
TMJ issues can result in you experiencing painful and difficult symptoms, both in your jaw and in locations around your face and ears.
You should think about getting checked out if you have symptoms like:
- Pain and tenderness in your jaw and TMJ area on one or both sides
- Facial pain and aches
- Aches felt in and around your ear
- Problems or pain related to chewing
TMJ issues can even cause your jaw joints to lock up, preventing you from easily opening or closing your mouth.
You might hear a clicking sound or experience a grating sensation when you open your mouth or chew. If you don’t experience pain or limited range of motion, medical evaluation for potential TMD is likely unnecessary.
Causes of TMJ
Your TMJ issues could be due to behavioral factors like clenching or grinding your teeth, otherwise known as bruxism. Or, genetic factors relating to the shape of your jawbone could put you at heightened risk for developing TMJ problems.
Rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and some connective tissue disorders can also result in TMD.
TMDs occur when your joint suffers damage as a result of injury, or when the cartilage and cushioning disk that smooths and stabilizes your joint’s motion deteriorates or shifts out of correct alignment.
Treatment options for TMD
Get in touch with the team at Performance Pain and Sports Medicine if your symptoms of jaw pain and tenderness or loss of range of motion in your jaw joints persist or become disruptive to your daily life.
Your provider evaluates you for TMD and recommends effective treatment options. We use diagnostic imaging tests like MRI or ultrasounds to fully understand your TMJ dysfunction.
Depending on your condition, you may benefit from conservative self-care, non-invasive physical therapy or chiropractic care, or more intensive surgical treatment.
Schedule your evaluation by calling our office most convenient to you or requesting an appointment online anytime.